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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
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The Way Living Things Exist
    #3460956 - 12/07/04 07:45 PM (12 years, 2 days ago)

Today I was staring at a fish in our fish tank when it occured to me: the 'fish' or it's body was simply food somehow converted into the form that I saw. Without the food there could be no fish. The fish cannot exist on it's own.

It seems that the 'fish' is really not any physical thing, but rather the physical process that transforms inanimate material into a living creature. This is curious because then the fish really isn't there, but it is some kind of conceptual blueprint, yet that blueprint does not exist physically either.

This gets me thinking both about the Buddhist concept of Emptiness, that nothing exists of it's own nature, and Plato's forms. My observation shows that the fish is empty because when broken down there is nothing independent that is the 'fish' besides the name. But the process that creates the fish from it's DNA does exist as some kind of theoretical structure or potentiality. This is like Plato's Forms, the physical world is not real in the sense that we think of it, but physical objects are based on non-physical archetypes.

As best as I can figure, our bodies are really nothing but temporary processes based on some kind of theoretical or potential form. What that form IS, I can't say. Crazy.


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3462536 - 12/08/04 01:31 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

bump


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Invisibleshroomydan
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3462579 - 12/08/04 01:43 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

Some (Aristotelians) would say the essential form or essence of the species.

The real question is can form exist without matter. If the answer is no, then it appears that the soul could not survive death. The soul has traditionally been seen as the form of the body.

If the answer is yes then matter becomes irrelevant. But of course the fish needs to eat to maintain its form.


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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: shroomydan]
    #3462601 - 12/08/04 01:48 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

I don't really believe in the soul or matter as independent things. What I would call the 'soul' is by it's very nature formless. But back to the fish: the fish exists as a system or as someone put it an "Organization Principle". That means the basis for the fish assembling itself from inert matter is neither physical nor conceptual, but it is still real!?! Perhaps there is another dimension that contains potential form and potential energy and that is how the 'fish' exists.

The question is: What is the Organization Principle, and how does it exist?


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


Edited by Divided_Sky (12/08/04 01:55 AM)


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3462632 - 12/08/04 01:55 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

I damaged my finger today and am fucked up on vicodin. But the tree is not an object, "tree" is a name used to conceptualise that bit of biological manifestation. The tree is simply energy and matter doing its thing!
The gases of the air interpenetrate the leaves and the roots, in turn interpenetrate the soil. Man is little different, he moves about, that is all.
All is spontaneously appearing as the hadrons, leptons and quarks do what they will. Proud man appears as does the tree and is made of the same stuff. He manipulates the world to make it fit his dreams. All is divine and man, despite his arrogance, occupies no special place. All is Life, nothing is "alive" or "dead", those are simply concepts.





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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #3462674 - 12/08/04 02:06 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

Yeah, I know THAT, but I'm talking about how an living body exists based on the system that creates it. A 'chair' exists because a person thought of a chair and built it. A rock exists because geological causes combined to create it. But a living organism is neither designed nor accidental. It is a process which creates its own body based on an invisible form.

Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about your finger.


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Registered: 10/23/02
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3462681 - 12/08/04 02:08 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

I think that it is very full in the sense that it does exist, that it is together. DNA it the brain of the cell... In many ways the DNA reacts and changes things within its own environment. But like you said, without the material, there is no process. But ultimately, the tranformation is of in itself the "potentiality". Writing it through experience...


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OfflinePedM
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #3462821 - 12/08/04 02:43 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

Divided_Sky,

It's really fascinating that you should post this now, because just today in school I encountered a daunting idea along exactly the same lines.

We had been learning about the cardiovascular and respiritory systems (it's a pharmacology course), and the way oxygen is extracted from the surrounding environment and delivered for use throughout the body. Put simply, air is drawn in through the nose, then through the pharynx, the larynx, the bronchi, and then through a network of smaller and smaller tubes in the lungs until it reaches the aveoli. There are three hundred million aveoli in each lung! Inside the aveoli are billions of microscopic blood vessles called the pulmonary capillary network. Oxygen is diffused into the blood at the pulmonary ateriole, and carried out of the aveoli through the pulmonary venule, then through larger and larger blood vessles until the oxygenated blood reaches the heart, where it is then distributed throughout a vast and infinitely complex network of blood vessles which carry oxygen to support the biofunctions of trillions upon trillions of body cells.

Learning about the cardiovascular system in this way, I couldn't help but ponder just how dependent we are on what appears to us to be empty space. The connection between our bodies and our environment runs very deep, even on the basic physical level. It penetrates deep into our chest, into realms invisible without high-powered microscopes. If we were to break this connection with our surruondings, we would die almost immediately. None of the body's trillions of cells can function without a constant supply of oxygen.

We like to think that we are isolated systems with a firm grip on something completely seperate from us: our surroundings. But in reality, we are just as interwoven with our surroundings as our surroundings are interwoven with us. There is an unbreakable connection there.

Take the nervous system as another anatomical example. Any sensation that you experience is the result of electrical impulses travelling through innumerable neural pathways ascending to your brain. Any response to that sensation -- be it somatic or autonomic -- is the result of electrial impulses travelling through innumerable neuroal pathways descending from your brain and spinal cord. Take a moment to become aware of your senses. Those myriads of different sensations are the product of tremendously precise electrochemical activity. We marvel at the capacity computers have to process and interpret information -- but imagine the sheer density and complexity which gives rise to a magnificent system such as the one we are experiencing this very moment!

There are millions upon millions of ascending and descending neural pathways, without even counting those in the brain. Their only function is to ensure that the body maintains a homeostatic equilibrium with it's environment. That's the key: homeostatic equilibrium with the environment. Physically speaking, the connection between the body and the "outside world" resembles a leaf floating atop the surface of a pond. There is total saturation shared between the two, right down to the almost indetectable facets of their measurable existence. Why aren't we able to see this?

I suppose that's not different from asking: Why aren't fish able to feel wet?

Divided_Sky: If our body, our form exists in a relationship with the material world in this way, what of the reltionship between the mind and empty space?


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Edited by Ped (12/08/04 02:54 AM)


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Offlinedjd586
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Registered: 02/03/03
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Re: The Way Living Things Exist [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3462885 - 12/08/04 03:13 AM (12 years, 2 days ago)

Quote:

Divided_Sky said:
Today I was staring at a fish in our fish tank when it occured to me: the 'fish' or it's body was simply food somehow converted into the form that I saw. Without the food there could be no fish. The fish cannot exist on it's own.





Everything exsits and is the way it is because the transfer of energy from one system to the next. What you have just decribe above is a tranfer of energy. Sunlight provides energy for plant life, algea, bacteria, ect. The sunlight is converted into carbohydrates. Other animals, such as zooplankton, fungi, bacteria, insects have evolved from the photosynthesis state to gather their energy from the organisms that live off of sun energy. Thoes animals in turn provide energy to larger animals, such as the fish you have, to live, grow and reproduce. This, in a very simplified nut shell, is the transfer of energy. Everything that lives is an extention of the energy outputted from the sun, which is nothing more then burnung hydrogen. And energy is always recycled. It can neither be created or destroyed.


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